In a world where assassins are glorified and all want to secure that coveted top spot, people will do anything to remain on top, regardless of who they have to kill. Assassin Nation Vol #1 is published by Skybound Entertainment, an imprint of Image Comics, written by Kyle Starks (Rick and Morty), with art by Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and The Venture Bros.), and with letters by Deron Bennett.
Assassin Nation focuses on, Mr. Rankin, former #1 assassin turned leader of a crime syndicate in his city, who has been a victim of assassination attempts. To find out who is targeting him, he invites the world’s best assassins and gives them an offer, to protect him from whoever is trying to kill him. With him being such a powerful man that he is and a lethal assassin he was, it could be anyone from a bitter rival from his former life or a power-hungry rival of his current life.
The characters in Assassin Nation Vol #1 are diversely represented in race, gender, nationality, and sexuality. This series shows that no matter who you are if you are meant to be great at something, you should pursue it. The characters at the start were vast and many, but as you read on, it dwindled quickly down to just six main characters. Mr. Rankin, Maxwell Bishop, F*ck Tarkington, Dave, Smoke, and Fingerman. Each character brings something unique to the table.
The two standout themes in Assassin Nation were race and sexuality. Race comes into play when one of the character’s flashbacks shows them assassinating someone and as the witness tries to describe them to the police and makes a comment about their race. The other is speaking about the LGBTQ+ when Bishop mentions he’s looking for his husband’s killer. Both scenarios were handled very well.
The dialogue in Assassin Nation Vol #1 is handled amazingly. It comes off as much more realistic in comparison to what you would see in the movies. When there was a need to be professional, it was delivered, when Dave needed to crack a joke, it was well-timed, and so forth. The interactions between the characters felt authentic and not forced.
The story-line is superb, from well placed comedic breaks from Dave and F*ck, to the more serious nature of Bishop. The pacing in Assassin Nation is excellently done and never comes off as rushed. Even the flashbacks in the story are well-curated and help bring more character to each assassin that remains. It’s easy to follow along with the story direction, and if you pay attention to subtle nuances, like how Mr. Rankin responds to certain assassins or even how when tragedy hits, you’ll be able to start piecing together the ending before you arrive.
Henderson’s art and coloring of Assassin Nation Vol #1 are detailed and have great character. The action sequences are top-notch as well. The coloring in Assassin Nation Vol #1 is vibrant and richly saturated, which had me admiring the art before I read the story. Additionally, Bennett did an amazing job on lettering for this series, especially with the unique typography used for some of the sound effects. The usage of it helped give more impact to what happened and let the reader have an easier time hearing that sound.
Overall, Assassin Nation is an amazing series and a fun read. If you’re into high action, cheesy jokes, betrayal, badasses, action movies, or even the creators of this crazy ride, you have to pick this up!
Assassin Nation is available both at online retailers and your local comic book stores.
Assassin Nation Volume 1
Overall, Assassin Nation is an amazing series and a fun read.